SunAnza holds dedication of new solar array

Anza Electric Cooperative, Inc. board members, General Manager Kevin Short and founding member Barbara Bradford cut the ribbon at the dedication of the SunAnza solar array Aug. 19. William Pham

By Diane Sieker on September 2, 2017

Anza Electric Cooperative’s SunAnza solar array was officially dedicated in a short but festive ceremony Saturday, Aug. 19. The day was appropriately sunny and pleasant.

Government officials and staff, energy partners, AEC board members, staff and management, plus members of the Cooperative all came together for the dedication and ribbon-cutting.

Nathan Hatch, Generation Engineering manager for Arizona’s Generation and Transmission Cooperatives spoke briefly of the project, mentioning the tough regulatory challenges that had to be overcome in order to complete Phase One of the array.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Kevin,” he said, “and we were able to pull through it.”

Cenergy Power representative William Pham declared the endeavor “very symbolic of the nature of cooperatives.”

Jacqueline Lopez, District Director for Congressman Ruiz was on hand to present a Congressional Certificate of Recognition for the SunAnza solar project to AEC General Manager Kevin Short.

Short illustrated the importance of the project.

“July was the first full month of production for SunAnza. In that month, our array produced enough energy to completely power more than 620 of our members’ homes. That’s almost half a million kilowatt-hours of clean, carbon-free solar energy for 16 percent of the homes in our area. It’s a great start.”

The 8,700 new solar panels in Phase One are producing two megawatts of power each day, and this saves the AEC more than $100,000 per year in supplied power costs. These savings are passed on to the membership of the Cooperative.

“SunAnza…would not be possible without the help of our energy partner, Arizona’s Generation and Transmission Cooperatives,” said Short. “It also takes experienced builders to make a project like SunAnza become a reality. Cenergy is a well-respected and capable solar energy contractor…we are grateful that they have stuck with us through the long process from concept to reality.”

Short went on to thank the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, Congressman Raul Ruiz, the AEC Board of Director members, the AEC membership, staff, management, technicians and crews, and AEC founding member Barbara Bradford.

“Thank you to Barbara Bradford for her pioneering spirit, and for showing us the way. As Barbara recently reminded us, ‘Look what people can do!’”

At the closing of the ceremony, AEC staff handed out commemorative plaques memorializing the event.

Construction of Phase Two of the SunAnza solar array should be underway by the end of the year.

For more information on SunAnza, please call the AEC at (951) 763-4333.